Most teachers ask their junior chemistry students to learn the element’s names and symbols from the periodic table. And though this is a challenging task, it is undoubtedly the most beneficial one because the periodic table is the essential chemistry reference, widely used in chemistry, physics, and other sciences. Once students understand it and learn how to use it, they can predict how chemicals behave and realize that chemistry is everywhere.
This article gives you the best ways to remember and learn all periodic table elements.
#1 Get online study help
Learning and remembering a complex task such as the periodic table elements requires a lot of willpower and motivation from a 12 grader. As a result, many students find this assignment and chemistry overall daunting. But when a student feels stuck and unmotivated, it is time to get some study help.
If you are a student in, for example, Ontario, CA, you need to look for grade 12 chemistry online Ontario study courses. They are carefully packed, full of easy to comprehend explanations, tons of examples, and checkpoint quizzes. In addition, the combination of video lessons and practice questions makes learning the elements a lot more effective and fun. Who said chemistry is incomprehensible?!
#2 Use the repetition method
Another way to learn the periodic table is the same way you have learned the alphabet – through regular repetition.
Repetition is an integral part of the learning process, but for information to be remembered, it must be linked in your mind to other things you already know. For this reason, you need to combine this method with other learning methods for it to be effective. But, first yet, you need to understand how it works.
Make separate groups of 5 elements, then, recite the elements out loud. Hearing your voice makes you pay attention to what you are doing and keeps you concentrated, enforcing active learning. However, make sure you divide your time into learning sessions so your brain has time to rest and refocus. Notably, the key to this method is that you need to continue doing it even after you get to the point where you can successfully recite all elements at once.
#3 Use flashcards
Flashcards are one of the classic study tools, and for a good reason – they promote studying through active recall, which is one of the practices our brains learn most effectively. But it is not just that. This method is also helpful because writing the flashcards with the names of the chemical elements and physically using them requires interaction and engagement with the periodic table, which helps your learning process. Furthermore, flashcards are convenient to carry around, meaning you can practice whenever and wherever you are. However, a downside of this method is that it is a time-consuming way to learn all 118 elements.
#4 The method of loci, a.k.a memory palace technique
The method of loci, also known as the memory palace, or mind palace technique, is another excellent method to learn the periodic table elements. It is a technique to change your memories into images placed in a familiar mental location. The idea is that you can mentally walk through a place you know well, like a building or town, looking at your memories in a specific and always the same order to recall them. For example, think of your house and imagine each element to a particular place. Then, to fortify this image in your head, think of a person, item, song, or movie that could help you visualize each element in that exact place. After you have your images and assigned objects, start touring around your memory palace. Do this regularly, and you will see how fast you will recall the periodic table elements when needed.
#5 Use mnemonics
Our brain is adept at finding and remembering patterns. Exploiting this can help when remembering seemingly mundane data sets such as the periodic table. That is why mnemonics here are so helpful. They are easy-to-remember lines or phrases to memorize complex information to learn. Mnemonics can take many forms as a recalling technique, depending on the students’ learning style. For example, some people do best with acronyms, names of places, or familiar things, while others do so with phrases, poems, or songs. For example, Argentina got its name from Argentum (Ag), the scientific name for silver.
Every student is different, and they learn differently. That is why there is no “one recipe for all” when learning the periodic table of elements. For this reason, try out the above techniques and methods and decide which one is the best fit for you.